Canada and Sc’ianew First Nation to launch the construction of a Community Cultural Centre at Spirit Bay

News release

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November 16, 2023 – Spirit Bay, British Columbia – Sc’ianew First Nation and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, Chief Russ Chipps, council members Sheeba Sawyer and Traci-Lynn Pateman of the Sc’ianew First Nation, and the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced $5,439,245 in funding provided through the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program, for the construction of the Community Cultural Space Centre. This building will play a key role in achieving a larger vision; it will be one of the main buildings in the Sc’ianew town centre.

The Sc’ianew First Nation places a high priority on the health and welfare of its members. The Chief and Council have identified the need for a Community Cultural Centre as an important component in achieving the Council’s objective of delivering effective health, wellness, recreation, and cultural services to the community. As the main recreational, cultural, health, and administration building for Sc’ianew First Nation members, the Community Cultural Centre will also benefit the residents of Spirit Bay.

Investing in cultural spaces is crucial to addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals. This transformative program also supports Indigenous Peoples in reclaiming their identity as part of their journey toward self-determination. This is a crucial step in advancing reconciliation and building relationships between Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians.


“We want to raise our hands and thank our partners, signers, and administration staff for walking this journey of tolerance with us! It’s an easy pathway to do when you have good people around you.”

Sc’ianew First Nation Chief Russ Chipps

“The construction of the Community Cultural Centre is a major project for the Sc’ianew First Nation. It will serve Sc’ianew First Nation well and ensure everyone in the community can access culture and language, as well as strengthen their identities. This is another meaningful step in responding to the MMIWG Calls for Justice, which call upon all governments to prioritize safe and meaningful access to culture and languages for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people.”

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The Sc’ianew First Nation is located 30 km southwest of Victoria, B.C. The word “Sc’ianew” (pronounced CHEA-nuh) translates from the Klallam language as “the place of the big fish,” indicating the richness of sea life in the region that sustains the Sc’ianew and neighbouring First Nation communities with food, shelter, medicine, and clothing.

  • Sc’ianew lands also include Fraser Island, Lamb Island, Long Neck Island, Twin Island, Village Island, and Whale Island. Today, the Sc’ianew community continues to apply their extended knowledge of environmental management in sharing their land and marine resources.

  • Sci’anew First Nation is a party to the Douglas Treaties. It is negotiating a modern Treaty as a member of the Te’mexw Treaty nations through the B.C. Treaty process.

  • Sc’ianew First Nation is governed by a Chief and two Councillors, as well as by traditional leadership components, including Elders and the Hereditary Chief.

  • An enthusiastic response to a call for proposals for the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program funding in Fall 2021 resulted in 340 proposals received for the 2021–22 fiscal year. This led the government to secure additional funding, so that in the end, more than $120 million was delivered to 66 recipients across 11 provinces and territories.

  • Budget 2021 invested $108.8 million over two years in the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program. This investment is part of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan.

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For more information, media may contact:

Stacey Charles
Executive assistant
Sc’ianew First Nation

Matthieu Perrotin
Press secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Ministre of Crown-Indigenous Relations

CIRNAC Media Relations:

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